In the verses in, (Matthew 22:1-14), we have what is described as “The Parable of the Wedding Feast”.  In the first seven verses of this parable we have “The Wedding Invitation Refused”.  The first verse reminds us that the Lord Jesus spoke unto the people by parables.  A “parable” is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning.  You should be reminded at the outset that the One who spoke this parable is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  It says of Him in, (Hebrews 1:1, 2) ‘God, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son (or in Son), whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds”.  The Lord, Himself, said in, (John 12:48) “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day”.  The One who spoke this parable therefore, spoke with authority.  He must be heard.  He must not be refused.  If YOU ignore Him, you do so to your own peril.  He went on to say in, (verse 2) “The King made a marriage for His Son”.  The “King” represents God, the Father, who issues an invitation to mankind to come to the marriage of His Son.  Those who accept the “marriage invitation”, and are clothed with a “wedding garment”, will be brought into an internal union with His beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.  This eternal union is pictured as a “marriage”.  It speaks of salvation.  All who are saved by obeying the gospel message are part of the true church, the bride of Christ.  Dear reader, do YOU have your wedding garment?  Are YOU saved? 


It says in, (verse 3) “The King sent forth His servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come”.  This is a picture of the apostles who were sent forth to the Jewish nation, during the Lord’s lifetime, prior to the cross.  They were instructed to go neither to Gentile nor Samaritan, but to the, “lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 10:5, 6).  Notice that they were “bidden” or “called” to come but, “they would not come”.  It says of the Lord Jesus in, (John 1:10, 11) “He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not”.  “He came unto His own (the Jews), and His own received Him not”.  During the Lord’s earthly sojourn, He was, for the most part, refused and rejected by His own people.  They refused their invitation to come to the wedding.  Have YOU done the same? 


It says in, (verse 4) “Again, He sent forth His servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and my fatlings are killed and all things are ready; come unto the marriage”.  The Lord, through His servants, graciously continued to reach out to the Jewish nation.  He now says to them, preparations have been made, the sacrifice has been killed.  The mention of the preparation of the oxen and fatlings would point to the sacrificial death of the Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus Christ.  .  This subsequent invitation to come to the wedding would occur, therefore, during the period immediately after the cross work of the Lord Jesus Christ.   The instructions to His disciples, just before He ascended into heaven, were, (Acts 1:8) “Ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samara, and unto the uttermost part of the earth”.  From this we see that the divine commission was, as it says in, (Romans 1:16) “to the Jew first, and also to the Greek (Gentile)”.  In the early chapters in the book of Acts the gospel was initially preached only to the Jews. 


The Jewish response to the Lord’s second appeal, and invitation to come to the King’s wedding for His Son,  is recorded in, (Verse’s 5, 6) “But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: And the remnant (rest) took His servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them”.  In making light of God’s invitation it means they did “not care about it” or they were “negligent of it”.  Dear reader, does this describe YOU and your response to God’s invitation to come and be saved?  Do YOU make light of it and do not care about God’s offer of salvation?  It says in, (Hebrews 2:3) “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?”  The answer to the question is, THERE IS NO ESCAPE IF YOU NEGLECT GOD’S SALVATION.  Others refused the invitation because their care of worldly enterprise came first.  They were more interested in their farming and their merchandise.  Dear reader, what about YOU?  In your pursuit of a career and/or your job have you neglected the well being of your soul?  Are YOU more concerned about your present affairs and future retirement than about an eternity to be spent in either heaven or hell when you die?  What are YOUR priorities in life?  From (verse 6) we learn that some of the Lord’s servants were even persecuted unto death for bringing the King’s invitation to the people.


We read in, (verse 7) “But when the King heard thereof, He was wroth: and He sent forth His armies, and destroyed those murders, and burned up their city”.   This refers to the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 by the Romans.  This is now an actual historical event.  The Romans in this parable are visualized as being “His armies”, used of God for His purpose in judgment”.  God brought judgment upon the nation for their continual refusal of His invitation to come to the wedding.  We read in, (Romans 10:21) “But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people”.  God’s entreaty to Israel was faithful and continuous.  It was a longing and loving entreaty.  But, they refused to believe.  They would not be persuaded.  They even spoke against and contradicted God’s gracious invitation.  Today, in this dispensation of grace, Israel has been set aside regarding God’s dealings with them.  God is now, “visiting the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for His name”, (Acts 15:14).  Regarding the nation of Israel it says in, (Romans 11:25) “Blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in”.    


In verses (8-14) the wedding feast is filled.  Beginning in (verse 8) we start the second part of the parable in which the wedding feast was filled with guests.  The King said to His servants, “The wedding is ready, but they (the Jews) which were bidden were not worthy”.  It says in, (Acts 13:46) “Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the Word of God should first have been spoken to you (the Jews): but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles”.  This is what follows beginning in (verse 9).


The King said to His servants in, (verse 9) “Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage”.  After the cross of Christ, and His subsequent resurrection, just before He ascended into heaven, He issued His great commission, (Mark 16:15) “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature”.  For two thousand years the servants of the Lord have been proclaiming the gospel message and bidding hearers to come to Christ and be saved. The simple and direct message is as it says in, (Acts 16:31) “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved”.  My friend, Have YOU believed on Him?  Are YOU saved?  Do YOU have a conversion story to tell?  Do you have a time when, a place where and a manner how YOU were saved?  The word “highways” in (verse 9) means “the parting of the highways” (RV).  “Crossroads” are implied.  The servants were to go where many were passing to and fro.  They were to go where many people could be contacted with the wedding invitation.  At the “crossroads” the servants were to “bid” men to come to the wedding feast.  Dear reader, YOU are traveling the “highway of life”.  Time and time again you come to a “crossroad” in life.  It is a time and place where a decision has to be made; a new and different direction has to be followed.  It is the same with spiritual matters.  When you read or hear the gospel message you come to a crossroad.  Will you believe the message of the gospel and receive Jesus Christ as your personal Savior or will you reject Him by unbelief or procrastination?  Will YOU continue to go “your own way””?  It says in, (Proverbs 16:25) “There is a way that seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death”.   It says in, (Isaiah 53:6) “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord laid on Him the iniquity of us all”.   Because of our sin and rebellion, God’s beloved Son had to come down from heaven and die on the cross for our sins. 


It says in, (verse 10) “So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all, as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests”.  We notice from this verse  “both bad and good” came in.  It says in (Matthew 13:24) there is both wheat and tares in the “kingdom of heaven”.  It says in (Matthew 13:47-49), in the kingdom there is both good and bad fish which are caught together.  The “kingdom of heaven” is a phrase that speaks of the kingdom in mystery form, while the King (Jesus Christ) is absent.  It speaks of Christendom and the whole sphere of Christian profession as it is today.  There are many in “Christendom” who are not saved.  They call themselves “Christians” and are associated with Christianity but have never been saved in God’s way.  They are depending on their so called good works.  They are depending on infant baptism, church membership, etc.  They are depending on their parents, their pope, pastor, preacher or other church leader.  None of these things can bring salvation.  YOU cannot be saved by your so called “good works”.  It says in, (Ephesians 2:8, 9) “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast”.  The Lord Jesus Christ said in, (John 14:6) “I am the way, (not a way, but the only way) the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me”.  He is the only way, the exclusive way of salvation.  Have YOU come in God’s way for God’s salvation?  You will not come until you recognize your need of a Savior.  In the third chapter of Romans, God gives us a full length portrait of humanity.  It says there, “There is none righteous, no not one: there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God, there is none that doeth good, no not one….all the world guilty before God…There is no difference; for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”.   Dear reader let me ask you a personal question.  Have YOU ever faced the fact of your own individual sins committed against God?  Have you faced the fact of your sins of commission in thought, word, and deed?  Of your sins of omission, or what you ought to have done, but failed to do?  Of your sins of attitude, in being at cross purposes with the God with Whom you must have to do?  Wise indeed is that person who has faced the question of his personal guilt before God.  The remaining verses in this parable disclose why this is absolutely necessary.


In (verse 11) we have, THE CONTEMPLATION OF THE KING.  It says in this verse, “And when the king came in to see (inspect) the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment”.  The message of the Gospel calls upon sinners to repent of their sins and invites them to come and be saved by believing in and receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as their own personal Savior.  This call goes forth, many hear and follow the call, but not all believe with the heart unto salvation.  They have accepted the King’s invitation but they are not fit for the King’s presence.  The wedding garment represents salvation.  The wedding garment, like God’s salvation, is NEEDED by the guests and PROVIDED by the King.  The man without the wedding garment is the representative of this large class in Christendom who are not saved.  They profess they are ready for the kingdom and the marriage of the King’s Son.  But, they have not the “garment of salvation”.  They have never been clothed with the righteousness of God through the Lord Jesus Christ that we read about in (2 Corinthians 5:21).  They have never “put on” Christ. 


In (verse 12) we have, THE CONFRONTATION OF THE KING.  It says in this verse, “And He saith unto him, friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment?  And he was speechless”.  The man came to the wedding with clothing of his own choosing.  He preferred to come to the wedding in his own way wearing the filthy rags of his own self righteousness.  It speaks of the many who are attempting to “weave their own garment of salvation” by their own works and supposed self merit.  Dear reader, there is nothing you can do to earn or merit God’s salvation.  Your best efforts will never get you to heaven.  YOU can only be fit for God’s presence by having the garment of salvation that God Himself can supply.  A “garment of salvation” has been provided by the Savior, “woven by His work on the cross and dyed in His precious blood”.  God’s salvation is a gift that must be received by faith.  It says in, (Romans 6:23) “The GIFT of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”.  It says in, (Ephesians 2:8) “By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the GIFT of God: not of works, lest any man should boast”.   It says of the man without the wedding garment, after he was confronted by the King, that he was speechless.  He had nothing to say.  He was without excuse.  Dear reader, if YOU go out into eternity without your wedding garment, without being saved, you will be without excuse. 


In (verse 13) we have, THE CONDEMNATION OF THE KING.  It says in this verse, “Then said the King to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth”.  The close of this parable, spoken by the Lord Jesus Christ, looks on to the end, and the judgment to come.  It is solemn, final and eternal.  “Bound hand and foot” would remind us that there will be no escape from this awful place.  This will be the end of every mere professor – outer darkness and untold woe.  The “outer darkness” is described in (2 Thessalonians 1:9) as the eternal abiding place of those, “Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power”.  The description of, “weeping and gnashing of teeth” reminds us that there will be indescribable suffering in hell.  This will be the portion of the unsaved those who did not believe and obey the gospel message.  In contrast there will be great joy in heaven as believers experience the festive joy of the wedding feast.  See (Revelation 19:7-9). 


In (verse 14) we are reminded of, THE CALL OF THE KING.  It says in this verse, “For many are called, but few are chosen”.  Many are called in the sense that the gospel invitation goes out to many.  There are many today who are “under the umbrella of Christendom”.  They are in various Catholic and Protestant denominational and non-denominational churches.  They have been called and invited by God to the wedding of His Son.  The time is coming however, when under the scrutiny of God, they will be seen to be without God’s “wedding garment”.  They will be without the “garment of salvation”.  They may have “joined a church” but they are not saved.  Many “are trying to do the best they can”.  Many are “religious”, “morally upright”, “trying to follow Christ”, etc., etc.  None of these “self efforts” or “self works” can bring salvation.  They have never been “born again” or “born from above” by the Spirit of God through the Word of God.  Because of their refusal to believe the Gospel message and be saved in God’s way they will show at last that they were not chosen.


Dear reader, If YOU remain unsaved it will not be because God does not love you or because God’s Son did not die for you.  We are told in, (2 Peter 3:9) “The Lord is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance”.  YOU remain unsaved because you have not repented of your sins and have not believed on the Lord Jesus Christ.  Will YOU continue to reject the message of the gospel?  Will you procrastinate and delay receiving Christ as your Savior or will you believe and be saved?  You are traveling the “HIGHWAY OF LIFE”, passing through a very brief time into eternity.   Now that you have read this message you have come to the “crossroads”.  Which way will you go?  Will you continue to reject the Savior and God’s free gift of salvation?  Or, will you believe in Him and receive Him as your Lord and Savior?


Please give this matter your most serious attention.  Will you be a believer or a non-believer?  What will your eternal destiny be?  Will it be the eternal bliss of heaven or the eternal torment of hell and the “lake of fire”?  YOUR ETERNAL DESTINY DEPENDS ON YOUR DECISION. 


Christian Messenger